Our resident Certified Lactation Consultant answers!
It really depends on what your goal is and how much milk you're already producing according to Molly Petersen, our certified lactation consultant (CLC). "If mom is heading back to work or other commitments after giving birth, then she will need to pump to maintain her supply and provide expressed breastmilk for her baby to eat. The general rule of thumb is that mom should pump at the same times that her baby would normally feed. This will give her body the signals to keep making breastmilk based on the baby's needs."
Trying to build a stash?
If you're trying to build up a stash of breast milk, try adding a pumping session after your first feeding session of the morning. "You may not express much at first, but your body will quickly respond, and you'll be able to start storing milk." It's important to be consistent, though, because if you start pumping a few times a day to boost your milk supply, you can end up with plugged ducts.
For moms that are already pumping, track your supply. "Babies are generally more efficient than a pump at getting milk out of the breast, so a new mom may find that her baby is eating more expressed breastmilk than she's pumping. If this happens, mom can add an extra pumping session during the day to give her supply a little boost."
“I love when I hear the confidence in a new mom’s voice when she realizes that her body is capable of giving her baby the very best.” Molly began her Lansinoh career assisting customers with product questions, and was inspired to become a CLC when she realized that many questions were more about breastfeeding than products.